Five concerts, four conductors at different stages of their relationship w/ the LA Phil (part 1 of 4): Vasily Petrenko conducts Nielsen and Shostakovich; Trpceski plays Grieg’s Piano Concerto
December 10, 2012 Leave a comment
Based solely on what I saw and heard a couple of weeks ago, I’d guess that Vasily Petrenko and the Los Angeles Philharmonic have a good thing going.
Throw in the fact that Rick Schultz said in the Los Angeles Times that Mr. Petrenko “made a deeply felt, unforgettable impression” at his January 2010 debut with the orchestra and that his two concerts at the Hollywood Bowl in 2011 were also well received, I’d bet that my guess is a pretty good one.
By themselves, a few years’ worth of return engagements certainly do not equate to any kind of long-term relationship (case in point — what the heck happened with Mark Wigglesworth?), but in this case it seems that the chemistry between Mr. Petrenko and the LA Phil is real. Their combined efforts made for a glorious performance of the Shostakovich 10th Symphony, full of moments that were probing, eerie, and ultimately thrilling. Mr. Petrenko wasn’t afraid to heighten the tension by pushing tempos a little here and drawing them out a little there, but he never went for cheap effects. The LA Phil dug into the complex work, giving the conductor all sorts of colors and timbres to work with; the orchestra sounded wonderful, with many of the principals playing beautiful solo parts in the process.
I wish I had a chance to hear this Shosty 10 again. And again. In fact, I hope I have a chance to hear Mr. Petrenko and this orchestra again soon.